These homemade dye free bacon bits are vegan, gluten free, dye free, and chemical free, but taste better than any that you can buy at the store. Did you know that most bacon bits are vegan? The ones that you buy in the stores are just made of TVP – which stands for textured vegetable protein (soy protein). I was happily surprised to learn that years ago, and I started buying them to sprinkle on salads. Then I started to read the label closer and noticed the list of chemicals and food dyes in them.
I thought that there must be a way to season TVP and then dry it back out to make my own bacon bits. I fiddled around with proportions and oven temperatures for a while until I perfected it. They are delicious and I feel the need to sprinkle them on most salads, soups, and potatoes dishes! They add a little protein and give everything a little extra salty crisp bacon flavor.
Dye Free Bacon Bits
- ½ cup boiling water
- 2 TBS canola or refined coconut oil
- 2 TBS liquid smoke
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 cups of TVP crumbles
- Step 1 Preheat oven to 250 F
- Step 2 Put boiling water, oil, liquid smoke and salt into a mixing bowl
- Step 3 Mix well until salt dissolves
- Step 4 Add TVP and stir well until evenly coated
- Step 5 Let it sit for about a minute until it soaks up all the liquid
- Step 6 Pour onto a cookie sheet and spread it thin
- Step 7 Bake for about 30 minutes until dried out and crisp
If you dry them out well and then keep them in an air tight container in the fridge, they will last a few weeks. This makes a fairly large batch (2 cups) so you may want to cut it in half if you don’t think that you can use that many within a few weeks. Our family of 4 eat a lot of potatoes and salad, so we go through them pretty quick. Elliot, my youngest devours his salads with bacon bits sprinkled on top and asks for more just to get more bacon bits. This recipe is fairly salty since I was trying to get the same flavor as the store bought bacon bits. If you want them to be lower in sodium, reduce the salt. FYI- If you taste them before they are done cooking, they will taste different than the finished product.
One of my favorite way to eat them is on Maple Bacon Salad. Click here for the Maple Bacon Salad Recipe.
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